Oh Instant Pot Oh Instant Pot … same traditional tune, new catchy jingle. Hum this holiday tune to yourself as you consider a new idea for exploring healthy, efficient cooking. Cook once, eat twice.
On this second day of the advent calendar, I want to share a look at another healthy option for cooking at home, in our busy holiday season calendars. Today let’s prepare a whole chicken to enjoy a one-pot dinner, with left over broth and chicken for soup tomorrow. Let’s begin at the beginning for todays meal and get your Instant Pot ready adding one cup of water in the bottom and place the rack inside the pot. Next, add your favourite seasonings to the water. This is where your creative side comes in to add whatever your taste buds prefer. I enjoy the flavours of fresh Rosemary sprigs, raw garlic, chopped onion, and some Sunset Seasoned Salt, adding these into the water and on the chicken. This water will be the flavour of your chicken soup broth on day 2 of cook once, eat twice.
Place your pot close by the sink. When you do this, it’s easier to rinse the entire chicken, inside and out then place directly onto the rack in the pot, without needing to have the chicken touch other surfaces. Once the chicken is rinsed and in the pot, push the pot out of the way with your elbow and take a few minutes to wash the sink area and your hands well with soap and dish detergent. Some prefer to use disposable gloves when handling a whole chicken.
Once all is cleaned up and safe to handle, place the pot with the chicken into the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Secure the lid properly in place and ensure your vent is set at steam. If the chicken is fresh, select manual HP (high pressure) 25 minutes. If the chicken is frozen or part defrosted, select manual HP 45 minutes. At this point you can walk away or take a moment to peel and chop 3 carrots, 3 potatoes and a sweet potato. These may be the sides you choose to complete today’s dinner.
Once you hear the 5 beeps of your pressure cooker saying “I’m all done now” you can enjoy a true one pot meal. Turn the vent to the venting position to perform a QR (quick release) of the steam. You are releasing the steam and pressure to safely open the lid. Once the valve has dropped you are set to open the lid carefully. Take a moment to smell that gorgeous aroma that is filling your kitchen with goodness for you and yours to enjoy. Next, add the chopped vegetables around the cooked chicken secure the lid back in place ensuring the vent is set at steam. Remember that vegetables don’t take long in the Instant Pot, thus the name Instant Pot! Key in to the digital display, manual HP 10 minutes. At this point the digital system will take over preparing for another pressure cooking for a shorter amount of time. This is truly a one-pot dinner that is healthy, delicious and affordable for all to enjoy.
Once the 5 beeps are up, do a QR of the vent or leave it at long as you wish to begin a NR (natural release) and when you are set to open, make sure the vent it set at venting to release any additional pressure & steam to safely open the lid. Voila, you just prepared a healthy, delicious meal of chicken and side vegetables.
I like to use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables onto a plate, then hold the sides of the rack that are around the chicken and carefully pull the rack out with the cooked chicken, and place onto a carving board. The meat will be moist and succulent, never ever dried out or chewy! The flavours will be beautiful through the meat and vegetables and the broth, oh that broth will be waiting for another day when soup is on the menu.
You can decide how to store the broth, but here is what I do in my kitchen. The lid fits perfectly and seals onto the inner pot. Also, once the broth is cooled you can scrap any fat from the chicken cooking, off the top as it will rise. I place the pot with the lid in place, into my garage, as the temps at this time of year are colder than my refrigerator. Easy Peasy and out of the way!
Enjoy your dinner, and tomorrow let’s connect again and make some soup! Cook once, eat twice.
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